Tech n' Biz

Complete Farmer Secures $10.4M to Revolutionize Agriculture in Ghana

With its enormous potential for social and economic impact, Africa’s agriculture industry has always been a ray of hope. However, due to infrastructure restrictions, smallholder farmers, who make up over 60% of the farming population in sub-Saharan Africa, face major difficulties in efficiently engaging in global supply chains. The Ghanaian agritech business Complete Farmer has raised $10.4 million in a pre-Series A fundraising round to support its objective of changing farming techniques in the area in response to these difficulties.

The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) and Alitheia Capital, working together with Goodwell Investments through their uMunthu II Fund, took the lead in the funding round. In addition, Sahel Capital’s SEFAA (Social Enterprise Fund for Agriculture in Africa) Fund, Alpha Mundi Group’s Alpha Jiri Investment Fund, and Global Social Impact Investments provided debt financing. Other participants included Proparco, Newton Partners through the DP World Venture Fund, and VestedWorld Rising Star Fund.

Complete Farmer, established in 2017, functions as a full-service agricultural marketplace that links African producers to international markets and resources. Its platform, a complete tool for farmers, uses exclusive growing procedures to produce crops. This makes it possible for commercial and smallholder farmers to grow commodities that satisfy requirements set by the world market, resulting in profitable post-harvest sales.

Beginning in the simplest of ways, Complete Farmer has come a long way. Mechanical engineer and CEO Desmond Koney first dabbled in a number of initiatives, such as vertical farming and the manufacture of methane gas from organic waste from kitchens. When he took over his father’s farm and encountered widespread difficulties in the farming value chain, he discovered his calling in agriculture.

In 2018, the business launched a crowdfunding platform after starting out as a farm contractor. Users may monitor agricultural activity and invest in sustainable farms on the platform, which received about $150,000 in pre-seed money from MEST Africa. The epidemic, however, affected numerous sites for crowdfunding, including Complete Farmer’s, causing scalability and payment default concerns.

Due to this, Complete Farmer changed its business strategy to one of an aggregator and marketplace. This strategy blends the company’s contractor experience with the earlier crowdfunding concept, much like popular platforms like Thrive Agric. This change has drawn investors and been shown to be successful, which will result in a $2.2 million seed round in 2020.

The marketplace model is more effective at connecting farmers and buyers. According to Koney, “There was a specific characteristic that the majority of big customers, like FMCGs and food processors, needed but that the majority of African farmers lacked. We created cultivation techniques to assist smallholder farmers in producing premium goods that satisfy consumer demand.

CF Grower and CF Buyer are the two main options provided by Complete Farmer. CF Grower provides tools and data-driven protocols to African farmers so they can increase productivity and gain access to international markets. The procurement process is streamlined by CF Buyer, which links a network of qualified manufacturers with international buyers.

Complete Farmer has swiftly expanded since its change of direction two years ago, connecting over 12,000 farmers in Ghana. Over 30,000 acres of land have been managed for cultivation, and the platform has also reduced post-harvest losses while supplying commodities globally. The agritech company has positioned itself as a vital player in Africa’s agricultural revolution with a 30% fee on profits produced per trade.

The expansion of Complete Farmer will be massively fueled by the current $10.4 million grant. The business wants to ramp up new product lines, improve strategic alliances, grow its staff, and increase domestic operations. To further improve its infrastructure and market reach, it also plans to use the lending facility to finance capital and working capital improvements.

The agricultural industry in Africa is showing signs of innovation and resiliency, as seen by Complete Farmer’s Journey. It is prepared to carry out its purpose of revolutionizing agriculture on the continent as it moves into its subsequent stage of expansion.

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